Saturday, March 30, 2013

Update! Xeranthemum Hat

For those of you who are friends with me on ravelry, you may have noticed I started a new project: the Xeranthemum hat. This pattern was shared with me by the new group I joined "Calling All Knitters: I Dare You to Knit This!". Twice a month there are forum posts open where knitters who want a challenge and unique pattern can sign up to be dared to knit the pattern given to them.

I have 1 month (March 16-April 16) to complete this hat and unfortunately was not able to start it till a few days ago because of so much school work, etc.

Right side of the hat. Will have "flowers" shooting up along this side.
The first "flower" can sort of be seen on the far right. 

I'm actually really happy with the progress so far, I haven't put too much time into it but I changed the gauge and used size 11 circulars (instead of size 7 or 8) and it really helped this hat knit up quickly.

This is the left side of the hat, a simple stockinette pattern. 

I'm home this weekend for Easter (and a break from all my assignments at school!) so hopefully I'll have plenty of time to work on this. I can't wait to finish it, check back soon for updates!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

DIY Anthropologie Bracelet

Ok, so confession time: no matter how absurdly expensive Anthropologie is I can't help but lust over their clothes and accessories, and during moments of weakness have bought idiotically expensive over-my-budget items. One of the items currently on my lust-list is the "Beaded Wrap Bracelet", and while trying to reason with myself why I didn't need it (it's $38!!) I realized I could easily make it myself.

Original bracelet at Anthropologie-- $38

I recently downloaded the "JoAnn App" (for Joann Fabrics & Crafts) and had immediate access to tons of great coupons, like the "40% off a single item" coupon. With my iPhone in hand and desperate not to go broke from Anthro determined to make a bracelet even better than the above one for a fraction of the price, I went to JoAnn and purchased a few different items. 

(From left to right) Beader's Paradise in "Cyrstal",  "White Pearl",
 "Caramel Creme",  Jewelry Designer 8mm in "White", and 30 yds of Craft Designer
Copper Wire in "Brown Wire" (26 gauge)

The copper wires came in over 30 colors but I chose to get one similar to the brown rope in the original bracelet. I chose wire instead of rope/string because all of the beads I picked had really small openings and was afraid anything wider than a thin wire wouldn't fit.

Here's the final product, I'm super happy with it (and so is my wallet!)!!

Pretty similar, right?!

I spent a total of $9.85 on the supplies and the bracelet only used around 40% bringing me to a grand total of $3.94 (WOOO!!) . To make this bracelet, I cut 45" of wire and then strung the beads along as I wished. Every once in a while I would wrap the wire around a bead to create spacing and add a cool looped look (as seen at on the top row of big pearls above).

One thing I really liked about the Anthro bracelet was it was adjustable and could be unwound which meant easy taking on/off. I did the same with this bracelet, securing a large pearl to both ends. To put the bracelet on, simply wind around your wrist and then wrap the two ends around the bulk of the bracelet (what's awesome about the wire is that it will hold secure without having to tie knots but can still be easily undone when you want).

The two ends of the bracelet

Overall I'm really pleased with this bracelet, not only did it come out as a really cute accessory, but I spent $3.94 on it-- a 89.6% savings compared to the $38 Anthropologie version!!!


My version


Monday, March 11, 2013

Tiffany Infinity Scarf

Once all this snow melts it will finally start to transition into spring, and eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring is the Tiffany Infinity Scarf! This scarf is knit with Patons Lace yarn in "vintage" (although any lace weight yarn works) and is very light and fluffy-- the perfect companion for a cardigan or tee shirt!

The Pattern:

You will need: lace weight yarn (0.5-1.0 skeins, I used 0.75); size 13 needles

CO (LOOSELY) anywhere from 20-40 stitches

Row 1-7: knit
Row 8: purl
Row 9: knit
Row 10: purl
Row 11: knit

Repeat these 11 rows for the entire length of your scarf. You can alternate stockinette and garter whenever you'd like, I chose to do 7 rows garter and 4 rows of stockinette for the majority of the scarf mixed in with larger and smaller intervals.

At end, BO LOOSELY! Sew both ends together with excess yarn.

Although this could be knit in pure stockinette (as long as you block out the curls), I think the "stripes" that the garter stitch creates adds a nice variability to the scarf. Ravelry page found here.

My scarf turned out to be 5 feet long which sounds like an awful lot, but ends up being quite short. I double wrapped the scarf around my neck and it nicely drapes for 15 inches.

This is the perfect spring or summer time scarf because it is so light weight (you'll forget you're even wearing it!) and the lace allows for plenty of breathing. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring Has Definitely Not Sprung

To much of my dismay, I woke up this morning to 7 inches of snow-- some spring break! Ha! Since the streets are covered, I decided today would be a nice day to pick up and continue my latest project, my Tiffany Infinity Scarf. When I planned this scarf I imagined myself wearing it on a nice spring day with a t-shirt, but that fantasy might have to be put on hold for a while with all this fluffy snow outside.

When the scarf is finished (maybe tomorrow?!) I'll post the pattern I created as well as some more polished photos. I also found these great gold, pearl and clear glass beads on sale at JoAnn Fabrics for only $1.50 (and obviously couldn't resist the purchase!) and want to find a way to incorporate them into the whimsy, fluffy look of this scarf. 

Here's my progress, about 3 feet long since I started Wednesday. And, unfortunately, my newest Netflix guilty pleasure Dawson's Creek has also been captured on camera... ;)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Strawberry Fields Forever Cowl

It's the first week of March and I am very pleased to announce I have an FO! After over a month of picking up and putting down (and picking up and putting down), I have finally finished my Strawberry Fields Forever Cowl! This is an original pattern that I improvised as I went along. I love how the tops and bottoms curl in slightly and how nicely this bunches when worn.

Gauge: (after blocking) 5 stockinette stitches = 1"; 7 rows = 1"

Piece Measurements: 14" x 12.25" at bottom of piece; 14" x 11" at top of piece

Even Beau wanted to be pictured with this cowl...

The Pattern: CO 114 stitches with size 8 DPNs and worsted weight yarn (you can use use this to determine your gauge if you change your needle/yarn size). I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca.

Row 1-6: With contrast color ("CC"-- brown in my case) join in the round and knit (this creates stockinette stitch).

NOTE: After this beginning portion, you will knit both MC and CC together at the beginning (and only at the beginning) of every round. This creates a faux seam (shown in picture 3 above) and is an easy way to carry the colors up the side of your piece so you never have to break the yarn!

Row 7-18: With both colors, knit the first stitch of the round. Continue to knit with only the main color ("MC"-- pink in my case).

Row 19-22: Start beginning of round by knitting both MC and CC together. Knit rest of rounds with CC.

Repeat rows 7-18 and rows 19-22 about 4 times (or for desired length).

At beginning of final MC portion *knit 10, K2tog*. Repeat this decrease every other round for 12 rounds.

NOTE: Decreases don't have to be exact, work as many of as few as you would like for desired top width (I went from 12.25" to 11").

Once your 12 rounds of MC are complete, drop MC and weave in ends. Knit with CC (do not create faux seam) for 6 rounds. BO loosely and weave in all ends. Block piece.

Ravelry page found here. Like this piece? Try it out for yourself and post photos below! :)